So how exactly does this project work? The following is detailed outline of everything you need to know about the HA6S project, from what we need to do before starting the project, to how to make a sixth season comic episode, to releasing the comics to the general public. Please take the time to read through this detailed step-by-step procedure, and if you still have questions that need to be answered by the end, please feel free to drop us a visit at the HA6S forums and ask us a question.
- Preparatory Steps Needed Before the HA6S Project Begins
- Registering as a HA6S Staff Member
- Making a Sixth Season Comic Episode
- Advertising the HA6S Project
- Making the Official HA6S Website
- Releasing the Comics to the General Public
1. Announce the idea of the project to the public HA! community.
In mid-April, 2009, announcements were made on the HA! Main LiveJournal, Arnold’s Eyes Forums, SquirrelTamer’s deviantART journal, and funnybones021’s YouTube account. Many people have expressed their interest in this project and were willing to contribute in some way to this project. Several questions of clarification were asked and answered in the HA! Main LiveJournal.
2. Send a letter to Nick to notify them of and gain their potential approval for this project, as a precaution to avoid any lawsuits.
In early July, 2009, Tendra will mail a letter to Nickelodeon to notify them of the project. She will post up what she wrote to Nick for feedback before mailing the letter. While waiting for Nick’s response, we will most likely work on some of the preparations of the project, such as general group discussions, deciding the roles of the contributors, writing a tentative script for an episode, and practicing our artwork. If Nick approves of what we are doing, we can go full-steam ahead with this project. We may have to negotiate with Nick on how we run this project, such as allowing Nickelodeon advertisements on the final HA6S website, in order to gain approval. However, if Nick disapproves of the project, we will be forced to stop and end this project, end of story.
3. Mail Nickeleon thank-you note(s) after Nick approves of the project.
Show Nick our appreciation for approving our project when we receive a favourable response. If we do not receive a response from Nick one or two months after mailing the letter, Tendra will mail another copy of the letter sent in Step 2 to Nick. Repeat this until Nick responds.
3. Notify Craig Bartlett of the good news.
If we get the “go signal” from Nick, or receive no response from Nick after 2 months, someone who knows how to contact Craig Bartlett (creator of “Hey Arnold!”) personally will be asked to send him a letter about the project. Tendra will notify that person of the information that Craig should be aware about.
4. Build a forum for the HA6S staff and supporters to communicate with one another.
A forum was created at http://ha6s.forumotion.com to allow HA6S staff members to communicate with each other. Additional administrators and moderators for the forum are being sought out.
Interested volunteers can register for this project as a HA6S staff member by first registering on the HA6S forums. After doing so, they are highly recommended to read the Sticky thread “How to Register as a HA6S Staff Member”. These interested volunteers can register by writing a thread in the “Register as a Staff Member” category of the HA6S forums. They will be asked to provide 1) their name; 2) what roles (artist, writer, ect.) they are interested in; and 3) the two best methods of contacting them. Methods of contact can include Deviantart account, YouTube account, email, Arnold’s Eyes Forum profile, Livejournal account, ect. A HA6S forum administrator (director) will get to them as soon as possible. You will know you have completed registration when your forum name turns blue and you are given a rank reflecting one of your roles. As a HA6S staff member, you will have greater access to the forums. The thread will be locked once registration has been completed.
1. Gather ideas for a potential sixth season episode storyline.
Writers who have volunteered for this project can visit the “General Discussion” category of the HA6S forum to gather ideas/inspirations for a sixth season episode storyline. They may also present half-written scripts there to receive feedback. Storylines can be their own concoction or be adapted from someone else’s fanfic (given the original author’s consent). Many existing HA! fanfics can be found on fanfiction.net, the HA! Fanfiction LiveJournal Community, and at HA! Prompts. A list of ideas for 6th season episodes at Tendra’s Critical Analysis website is also available as a resource for potential episode ideas. Writers should ensure that their episode idea complies with the Sixth Season Episode Storyline Criteria.
2. Form a group of HA6S staff members to work on an episode projet.
When a writer has a very good idea of what their episode storyline is going to be, they may submit their episode idea to the rest of the HA6S staff members to have the tentative project picked up by interested staff members. In order for an episode project to be approved by a Director, the following roles for that episode project need to be filled out:
- Group Leader (Presumably the writer with the episode idea. Will be responsible for supervising the entire progress of their episode project and submitting monthly progress reports to the Directors)
- Script Writer
- Thumbnail Artist
- Background Artist
- Clean-up Artist
- Editors (minimum of 2)
To pitch the storyline idea to the HA6S staff, write a thread (“want ad”) to the “Want Ads” sub-forum and include the following information: 1) a description of your episode idea and 2) what roles you need filled. Interested staff members (“applicants”) who are willing to work on that episode project should reply to Group Leader’s “want ad”. If the Group Leader and applicant agree to work together, then they have just formed part of that episode project’s group. The process will repeat for other applicants until all required roles for an episode project are filled. When an episode project has enough HA6S staff members to work on it, they can then go to the “Proposed Episodes” sub-forum to submit their tentative episode project to the Directors for approval. If the case should ever arise where no one responds to a “want ad”, and an episode project is left with an insufficient number of staff members to work on it, then the Group Leader may want to consider revising or dropping the episode project. Keep in mind that episode projects cannot be approved by a Director until it has enough interested HA6S staff members willing to work on it. Hence, it is ultimately the HA6S staff members who decide which episode projects get approved.
3. Submit your tentative episode project to the forum administrators for approval.
Once a Group Leader has enough staff members to work on an episode project, they may visit the “Proposed Episodes” sub-forum where they can post a thread to propose their tentative episode project to the Directors for approval. Group Leaders should carefully read through the Sticky thread “How to Propose an Episode Project for Approval”, which is a detailed description/guide of how to submit your tentative episode project. The Group Leader (Writers) should know their episode idea well enough that they are able to complete its final script and thumbnails within two weeks of approval from the Directors. (They are therefore highly recommended to have a draft script ready before they submit their episode project for approval.) Thus, Group leaders should also be able to give a detailed description (outline) of their episode’s storyline, and be able to estimate how many comic pages their storyline will take. The director may ask some questiosn of clarification or give some constructive criticism before they make their decision, and will take into consideration the feedback of other HA6S staff members. This means that all HA6S staff members are welcomed and encouraged to post their feedback for each proposed episode. If, for whatever reason, the episode project gets rejected, the Group Leader may wish to repropose the project later in the future (given some revisions). However, if the episode project does get approved by a Director, that project will be given its own sub-forum (only accessible by HA6S staff) where involved staff members can work in. This forum will include:
- A deadline schedule as to when parts of the project should be done
- A thread to post monthly progress reports
- Optional threads where staff members can exchange files (e.g. artfiles, scripts, ect.) between one another
- A thread to submit final comic pages
- A detailed list of the episode project’s staff credits.
A sample forum is given here. The comic-making process is very much like an assembly line process, meaning that the comic will be going through the following people (stages) in this order: Brainstormer –> Script Writer –> Thumbnail Artist –> Penciler –> Inker –> Colorist –> Background Artist –> Clean-up Artist –> Done. Once approved, HA6S staff members who are beside each other in the “assembly line” should talk to each other about and confirm how they are going to exchange files (i.e. artfiles) between one another. This should include how to communicate with the episode project’s Editors and Advertiser.
4. Take note of deadline schedule.
One of the most important things that participating HA6S staff will be given when their episode project is approved is a deadline schedule. This deadline schedule is a list of dates when parts of your episode project are expected to be due. HA6S staff members should take note of these deadlines in their agendas and use the deadline schedule as a time management guideline. In the sample forum for an episode project, there is an example of a deadline schedule given for a 10-page long episode project.
5. Write the script and thumbnails for the episode project.
The Brainstormer, Script Writer, Thumbnail Artist, and 2 Editors should work closely to produce the final and edited comic script with accompanying thumbnail pages within 2 weeks. They should also ensure that their storyline complies with the Sixth Season Episode Storyline Criteria. Once completed, the Writers should submit their finished scripts and thumbnails to the rest of the HA6S staff members working on that episode project (i.e. not just to the Penciler). This can be done through the Sticky thread titled “Finished Script and Thumbnails” or other methods of communication such as email. (See the sample forum for an episode project for an example.) If the Writers ever decide to use the sub-forum’s Sticky thread, they should be aware that scripts can be posted directly in the Sticky thread or on another private site (provide the link). The script can also be posted in a password-protected post on the HA6S WordPress site (see the tutorial “Uploading Your Script Using WordPress” to learn how). The HA6S WordPress site also has a brief tutorial titled “Uploading Your Art Files Using Servimg” to guide Artists how to post images (i.e. thumbnail pages) directly onto the HA6S forum.
6. Convert episode from script to comic format.
After receiving the final and finished script/thumbnails, the Penciler should begin sketching out the comic. Within 2 weeks of receiving the script, the Penciller should have completed the first pencilled comic page (and roughly planned out the rest of the comic pages). Finished pencilled pages should be sent to the next person of the “assembly line” (i.e. the Inker) via a communication method that they have both agreed on, such as email or a forum thread. If using the forum thread, read the brief tutorial “Uploading Your Art Files Using Servimg” to learn how to post images directly onto the HA6S forum. Email would be the recommended form of file exchange between artists as artfiles (e.g. Adobe Photoshop files) can be passed on to the next artist without any heavy modification. Repeat this for the next steps of the comic-making processes (i.e. line-art, colouring, backgrounds, clean-up) and for the next comic pages (i.e. page 2, 3, 4, …ect.). However, unlike the Penciller, later roles are expected to complete their part within 1 week (instead of 2 weeks) as their roles are smaller. Click the following link to see a detailed calender of how the comic-making process should be for a 10-paged episode project: Detailed Deadline Schedule. Keep in mind that the comic pages should comply with the Comic Format Criteria. The clean-up artist may submit the final comic pages in the Sticky thread titled “Submit Final Comic Pages”.
7. Give monthly updates of the progress of the episode project.
At least once a month, the Group Leader of an episode project (that is still a work in progress) needs to post a report in the Sticky thread titled “Monthly Progress Reports” of a brief description of their progress. This can include how far the participating HA6S staff members are on the episode project, any problems that need to be addressed, ect. These updates given by the Group Leaders will be mirrored and included in the bi-weekly announcements in HA6S WordPress site and HA6S forums.
8. Advertise the episode project at least once.
The advertiser of an episode project is responsible for advertising the episode project at least once via a sneak peek / teaser. This can be in the form of writing, art, videos, ect and must be done before the comics are released on the official HA6S site to the general public.
Advertising the HA6S Project
Advertisers are responsible for increasing the awareness of this project, whether it is through art, videos, writing, or word of mouth. They can also advertise future episode projects via sneak-peeks and teasers. Doing so will help increase the audience size for this comic project as well as help recruit new staff members. Advertisers can discuss advertising strategies and notify the HA6S staff of any advertisements they have made in the “Advertisements” category of the HA6S forum.
Website managers are responsible for making and designing the official HA6S website where the comic (episodes) will be released for the public to read. This website, which needs to be completed before October 7, 2010, will be a separate entity from HA6S wordpress related sites and the HA6S forum (http://ha6s.forumotion.com). In the “Website Construction” category of the HA6S forum, website managers can discuss the construction of the website. They are expected to provide a report of their progress at least once a month in the sticky thread titled “Progress Report”. While the official HA6S website is under construction, artists, writers, and editors will be making/collecting a comic buffer to ensure smooth and continuous updates once they have been released on October 7, 2010.
On the day of October 7, 2010, all of our collective hard work will pay off. On “Hey Arnold!” 14th anniversary, the HA6S comics will be released to the general public on the official HA6S website made by the Website Managers. Frequency of updates will range from one to three times a week depending on the number of buffer comic remaining and whether or not we will still be producing new HA6S episodes then. Either way, let’s hope that the HA6S project will have a very good run and that the project will be able to show everyone how great a cartoon “Hey Arnold!” really is.